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REX: Short Week's More About Mental Prep

Posted Sep 10, 2013

Transcript of head coach Rex Ryan's news conference following the Jets' Tuesday midday practice at the Atlantic Health Training Center:

We have guys that did not practice today: [Quinton] Coples, with his ankle, Jeremy Kerley, concussion, and [Mark] Sanchez, shoulder. And then these players were limited today: [Jeff] Cumberland, chin, Kenrick Ellis, back, Santonio Holmes, foot, Nick Mangold, elbow, Sheldon Richardson, shoulder and Kellen Winslow, knee. Those guys were limited and everyone else was full today.

Jeremy Kerley’s deal was he was cleared during the game to return, and then after the game he was cleared, but then when he came in on Monday, the trainers looked at him and things like that, got another evaluation of him and determined that it was a concussion that he has, so he did not practice today.

On if Kerley will be out for Thursday’s game and if that was the reason for re-signing WR Ben Obomanu…

Well, you have to be prepared for that scenario, but we’re not going to officially announce anyone being out until tomorrow.

On New England’s tendency to start slow in the beginning of the season…

No. I hope you’re right. But again, no. They've still got Tom Brady back there.

On if New England is more vulnerable this season…

With us, we’re just focused on our team. Obviously, we’ve got to defend against them. Does it make a difference if you don’t have [Rob] Gronkowski or somebody? Of course. But it’s a team game. As long as they have Tom Brady back there and [Bill] Belichick on the sideline and big Vince [Wilfork] in the middle of their defense, they’re probably pretty stout. Again, we’re going up there, we’re excited to play them. Obviously, it’s a short week. You’re going against a Hall of Fame quarterback. We’re going up there and putting everything we've got out there. So we’ll see what happens.

On how he compresses a week’s worth of work in three days…

Obviously, it’s a big challenge. Now, did you work some of these things you’re getting ready for during training camp, whether the players knew it or not? Yeah, that’s what you do. The preparation for coaches started earlier as well. But again, it’s tough, there’s no doubt, when you’re going up there, especially when the teams are so different. Your opponents are different than the first opponent that you played. So yeah, it’s definitely challenging.

It’s about mental preparation more than it is about physical preparation. If you can’t get it down mentally, you’re not going to play very physical anyway. That’s where it starts against this team. Certainly, they give you a lot of different challenges. With their roster, whatever with the injuries, who knows what they’re going to come out with. We just know that there will be five eligibles. They’re a very multiple offense.

On if he goes back to see what past New England team resembles this year’s team the most…

Yeah, you’ll do all that stuff. The good thing about having Belichick there for 100 years [joking], if there is a good thing, is that you played against him. They’re pretty darn good. But yeah, you’ll definitely look at some different things. Did they heavy it up? They put the big tackle in at tight end, they brought in another tight end in, a lot of different things you can anticipate, but you have to be ready for everything with him. Certainly, we think we’ll be ready.

On Kellen Winslow…

I remember Kellen back when he was just coming out in the Cleveland days and having to go against him. I had some of those nightmares. As soon as the name pops out, you’re intrigued. But then when you get here you realize, “Hey, this guy still has great receiving skills.” He’s smart, he’s a warrior, to quote himself. That’s kind of his mentality. There’s no question. Is he as good as he once was? Maybe not, but he’s pretty darn good.

On success hitting Tom Brady being a constant in his three wins against New England…

We’ve been successful three times. How many times have we been beat? We’ve been beat six times by them. Obviously, you have to try and disrupt him, whether it’s the timing of his routes, whether it’s you get some hits or fly-bys on him. [He’s] a great quarterback. You have to challenge him. You have to challenge him mentally also. You always try to do that against him. Sometimes you’re more successful than others. We’ve been on the wrong end of it. Obviously, twice as many times as we’ve won.

On how a win on Thursday could give the team momentum…

I hope we have that problem, after the game. It’s based on how it’s going to be. Hopefully, I can answer that question then. We have a ton of work to do before that happens. We know the challenge that’s in front of us. We’re excited about it.

On preparing for Brady’s tempo in a short week…

It’s tough, there’s no question it’s tough. They talk about the Eagles being fast or whatever, but if anybody is faster than New England, I sure haven’t seen it and I’ve been around football a long time. They definitely challenge you with their tempo and he runs several different tempos. He can go super-fast, he can go just fast or he can slow it down a little. He does different things. They’re very good at it.

Their personnel, they’ll run different personnel groupings on. You have to be sharp. They’ll hold their calls to try to get you to signal in your call late so they can see what you’re in. They do a lot of things that challenge a defense. It is hard to replicate on the practice field, it absolutely is. But there are things you can do. As I mentioned before, you show the card, you let them break the huddle and as they’re breaking the huddle you signal in your defense. Those are some of the things we’ve done.

On Santonio Holmes not getting many throws his way Sunday…

Well, again, you don’t know really what the plays were. I think it’s good that he got that first game in and hopefully now he can even just take off from there. So that’s what we’re hoping.

On if the defensive success will lead to confidence against New England…

That first series, New England, I don’t know what their rate is of scoring but it’s always the highest in the league. That’s a huge challenge. We’re going to show up there and both of us will have plans. They’ll have their plan, we’ll have ours [and] we’ll see what happens.

On if he can use conventional rushes with his front seven…

Yeah, I think we have some guys that can rush the passer. I don’t think there’s any doubt. Conventional or otherwise, it’s always key to try to get a pass rush. I remember the first game, you talk about sacks, sometimes sacks tell the story, sometimes [they don’t.] That first time we ever played New England, we hit Brady 23 times and had zero sacks. So if you just go on sacks alone, "They never even got a sack, must play nothing but coverage." Well, no, we were coming after him, we were hitting him. So I think sometimes it doesn’t tell the story.

On what he can take from played fast-paced teams in the preseason to get ready for the Patriots…

There’s really no simulating New England’s speed. You can do it on scout team, you can try, you can do this, you can do that. It’s just different. It really is. Our guys [are] familiar with it. We have two new players that played for me in Baltimore so they’re used it. Again, we’ll get out there but we’ll be lined up, we’ll have our hand in the dirt ready to play.

On if this game has more significance than other regular season games…

Well, I think any time you play New England, it’s special. There’s no question because that’s the one you’re gunning for. You’re not gunning for second place. You’re gunning for first place and that team’s won our division the four years I’ve been here. So I think that clearly would make it a special game and a big game.

On the Patriots defense that showed up Sunday against the Bills causes him concern…

Well, they’ve had some good players over there, there’s no doubt about that. A concern? No, not a concern. We’re aware that they have good players but to say we’re concerned? No. We’re going to go out and we’re going to play and we’ll have a good plan on both sides of the ball and on special teams and now it comes down to executing and we’ll see what happens.

On how tough the learning curve is for Sheldon Richardson and Dee Milliner on a short week…

Again, how much new stuff do you have in or whatever, I don’t know. They’ve been with this team now all the way through minicamp and training camp and things. But the tempo might be a little different.

On if the tempo is the biggest adjustment for rookies…

You’ve got to be cognizant of the tempo but you’ve got to be cognizant of what you’re seeing and the communicating and things like that.

On if Holmes is the Jets' No. 1 wide receiver…

I think any time he’s out there, he’s your No. 1 receiver. That’s why you saw so many times with Revis on him and everything else. Obviously, he’s going to draw No. 1 attention.

On people saying the Philadelphia Eagles offense is faster than the Patriots offense…

Were they? I don’t know. I’ll stick with the Patriots. I think when it’s all said and done we’ll see. It’s just hard to fathom a team being faster than them.

On Coples…

He’s doing great. It’s really only been, what, three weeks. So, we’ll see. He’s been attacking this rehab now. I can tell you that much. He wants to get out there in the worst way. We’ll see what happens with him. Hopefully, he’ll be out there in the very near future.

On if he has to adjust his defense against a faster offense…

You’ve got to be quick with your calls. You have to be dialed into your game, into your game plan. Down and distance certainly is part of it and so is their personnel. Sometimes you get your call in too quick and that allows them to react. You never want to give up a black piece on the chessboard, so to speak. You want, on defense, the advantage that we have, is that we get to make the last move. And I think that’s something that you never want to give up no matter how fast their tempo is because sometimes they’ll slow it down on purpose to get you to make your call. And then all of a sudden they’ll give you a different look. So that’s part of the gamesmanship as well on it. But certainly you’ve got to be on top of it.

On if Winslow is at a point in his career where he’ll be limited in practice but play on Sunday…

Well, that’s what we’re hoping for. We kind of did the same thing with LaRon Landry last year you might recall. He was coming off some major injuries and that worked out pretty well. So, we’ll lean on our trainers as far as the amount of physical work that he does. Now I will say this, mental preparation and all that, he’s dialed in.

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